Japan is a country with such a hybrid and diverse culture that started with a simple history. It is located in East Asia and has recently become one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Many people prefer to go to Japan for their honeymoons, family vacations, seminars, and other travels. It is really exciting to travel to Japan and experience their culture. Here are the top ten interesting facts about Japan that may be helpful for many as they travel and get to know more about the country:
1. Japanese people are known for eating a delicacy of raw fish meat known as sashimi or sushi. But what is more interesting is the Japanese’s love for eating raw horse meat which they call basashi. While this may sound quite unconventional for some, the Japanese considers this as a very rich and nutritious delicacy. It is traditionally prepared by slicing the meat very thinly and then eaten raw.
2. An interesting but spooky fact about Japan is that there is a place called Aokigahara Forest just at the foot of Mount Fuji. The forest is also known as Suicide Forest due to the regular suicides conducted by hopeless Japanese people. Environmentalists are constantly vigilant in guarding the forest to prevent future suicide occurrences. Although people are still allowed to take a hike in the forest, there are several nature guardians already posted in discreet parts of the forest to stop any person from attempting suicide.
3. Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the most known festivals not just in Asia but in most parts of the world. Many people visit Japan just to witness the Cherry Blossoms season, which usually lasts for two weeks. Japan interestingly has 200 cherry tree species at present, topping all other cherry tree growing countries in the world.
4. If most people are used to just dumping flowers in vases, containers, or wrapping it up in special papers, the Japanese has a unique means of flower arrangement. Ikebana, as they call it, is the Japanese art for giving life to flowers. It was a very simple art in the 15th century which gradually evolved to more elaborate and interesting designs used as castle decorations. It takes concentration and spiritual practice to achieve a successful Ikebana art form.
5. Japanese people regard Garden Architecture to be as important as building architecture. Great pride and care is taken to ensure that gardens are made as intricate artworks. Another interesting fact to note is that the process of tending a garden is an artwork in itself in Japan.
6. Japanese people are in fact very proud of their rich history, culture, and traditions. They make sure that these culture live on through their popularized “anime” or animations unique to Japanese illustrators. Japanese invasion through anime and “manga” has also become popular among both Western and Eastern teens. Japanese culture even dominates over 60% of the world entertainment in TV, books, magazines, radio, and internet. Japan is even considered an “entertainment superpower” because of the success of their pop culture influence.
7. Japanese people are distinguished throughout the world because of their traditional clothing known as “kimono”. Contrary to popular belief, it is worn by both men and women, differing however in styles and patterns. There are a variety of designs consisting of floral and abstract patterns that are worn for specific times every year. The “obi” or the decorative sash is the most important part of the kimono. Men prefer a thin and simple obi while women wear elaborately designed obi.
8. Entering a Japanese home means taking off one’s shoes or slippers, leaving only socks or barefoot prior to entering the house or a particular room or area in a building. The Japanese people are known for laying “tatami” mats as their flooring and this is usually elevated from the ground to designate the importance and cleanliness of the area.
9. Almost 96% of Japanese people are employed, while almost 100% are literate. This causes Japan to have such a highly industrialized and disciplined nation. An interesting fact is that sometimes when the workers travelling to their workplaces are too many at a certain time of day, the people who are really rushing for work will ride on TOP of the train carriage just to get to work on time.
10. Japan has a musk melon or cantaloupe that is known for its almost perfect appearance. It has no dark spots or any imperfections unlike those grown in other countries. This musk melon sells for around $300.00 a piece!
These top ten facts are just a few of the many interesting facts about Japan because there is so much more to discover in the ethereal land of the rising sun. There is so much to learn about Japan’s culture and ways of living that will always be a surprise to any traveler.